If you have read my writings long enough, you know my love affair with pound cakes. Out of all the cakes – and believe me, I had my share of different types of cakes in my lifetime – the simple pound cakes grabs me every single time. Hands down.
My wedding cake was a pound cake. Which was soaked in rum and filled… oh, wait were was I.. oh, yeah – sorry.
But, like any baker (or cook) knows, we are always (and I truly mean ALWAYS) looking for the next best recipe of our favorite thing.
What can I say… we are a crazy bunch.
I think, I have found something better than my favorite pound cake.
I present to you the Ricotta Cake
It’s sweet, but not too sweet, hints of vanilla flavor all over it, moist (ohhhh soooo very moist), easy to make, less than 15 minutes putting it together and 60 minutes baking time. It’s good warm, cold and every temperature in between. Yummy with all sorts of toppings - fruits, cream, ice cream and whatever you may think of.
But alone, it’s simply, a little bite of heaven.
You have today to make this and fall in love.
Trust me. If I’m wrong, I dare you to come back and yell at me via comments.
makes one 9-inch loaf cake, about 10 servings
- 1½ cups all-purpose flour
- 2½ teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ¾ cup (1½ sticks) unsalted butter, softened
- 1½ cups fresh whole-milk ricotta
- 1½ cups granulated sugar
- 3 large eggs (at room temperature)
- ½ vanilla bean (I use vanilla paste and used 1 teaspoon)
- 1½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- Confectioner’s sugar, for dusting (you could go this route to make it pretty, but it does not need it)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and position a rack in the center. Grease a 9-inch loaf pan with nonstick cooking spray or butter, dust it with flour, and tap to knock out the excess.
In a medium bowl, add flour, baking powder, and salt and set aside. In an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together butter, ricotta, and sugar on medium speed until smooth and light, about 2 minutes. Beat in eggs, one at a time, it may look curled at this point, don’t worry about it, it will adjust once you add the dry ingredients. If using the vanilla bean - split it lengthwise and scrape out seeds with blunt side of a small knife, then beat them into batter along with vanilla extract. On low speed*, beat in dry ingredients to combine them, scrape down sides of the bowl, and beat batter for 30 seconds on medium speed. *You can also at this point fold the dry ingredients with a spatula into the batter.
Pour batter into prepared pan and use a spatula to smooth the top. Give the pan a few gentle whacks on the counter to remove any air pockets.
Bake cake for 15 minutes, and then turn the pan 180 degrees to ensure even browning. Lower the temperature to 325 degrees and continue baking until the cake springs back lightly when touched, the sides have begun to pull away from the pan, and a cake tester inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean, about 45 minutes more. (NOTE: sometimes the cakes take up to 60 min of cooking)
Allow cake to cool in pan on a wire rack for 15 minutes, then carefully invert it onto the rack to cool completely.
Dust cake lightly with confectioners’ sugar before serving it; the flavor is best on the next day. Any leftover cake may be wrapped in plastic and kept at room temperature for up to 3 days.
The cake also freezes beautifully, wrapped in plastic, and place in a large, seal-able plastic bag.
This cake is the perfect cake to give to host as gift or win your co-workers during the crazy-holiday frenzy that is soon to be upon us. Or how about baking small ones and giving them out for holiday gift to your favorite people… which is what I’m totally going to do this year.